Work at night – are there any special rules?

work at night

Nightime and nightworkers

There are a number of businesses where night work is necessary: hospitals, transport, factories, shift work. Do night workers have any special rights to reward them for the shortcomings of night work? Theoretically, yes, if they fall into the legal category of a night worker.

The Labour Code defines the night worker (or, to be exact, an employee working at night) as one who works at least 3 hours during night time or 1/4 of whose working time is covered by night time.

Night time is also defined in the Labour Code. Night time is a time span between 9 PM and 7 AM the following day. Within that time-span, the employer should set out in their internal regulations the particular starting and ending hours of night time, no longer than 8 hours, e.g. from 9 PM to 5 AM. For assignments requiring psychical or intellectual effort or for particularly dangerous tasks the working time during the night may not exceed 8 hours per day.

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Additional pay for nightworkers

Employees working at night are entitled to an additional pay premium for each hour of night work in the amount of 20 percent of the hourly rate calculated from the statutory minimum wages (in 2020: 2.600 PLN). Not very encouraging financially, don’t you think? The employer’s internal regulations may provide for a higher night work premium, and they often do. Financial incentive is a important motivation factor here.

As night work is considered burdensome (no doubt about that!), there are certain groups of employees who are prevented from working at night. These are pregnant women and minors. Employees taking care of children up to 4 years of age have the option to agree or refuse to work at night.

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